The Real Athlete Blog


Category: Training

  1. Mental Strength in Practice for Peak Performance

    by Gregg Swanson 12-16-2010 12:33 AM Training | Sports Psychology

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    Do any of these statements sound familiar?

    “In practice, I didn’t fumble once. Yet, during a game I fumbled a few times.”
    “In practice, I hit 4 out 10 balls. Then during a game, I can only hit 2 of 10.”
    “I easily make 8 out of 10 free throws at the end of practice, yet in games I’m shooting 40%. It doesn’t make sense.”
    Do you find that at times you perform at a specific level in practice but are unable to perform at this same high level in the competition?


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  2. Chronic Injuries in Athletes: Are they busts, or is there more to it?

    by BJ Maack 12-09-2010 11:04 PM Training | Athlete Career Development | Injury & Rehabilitation

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    So the news broke a few weeks ago that Greg Oden, the heralded former No. 1 draft pick of the Portland Trailblazers, will miss yet another season. Three years, three major surgeries. First, it was a cartilage injury that required microfracture surgery on his right knee. Last year, he sustained a fractured patella on his left knee. Now, unrelated to the patella, is a new injury to his left knee, also requiring microfracture surgery. This guy was supposed to be the next Kevin Durant, right? Wait, my bad…same draft. That's right…the Blazers PASSED on Durant to get Oden. That's another story. Anyway, Oden was to be a star, and now folks are calling him a bust.


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  3. Banged Up

    by Alan Stein 12-06-2010 11:53 PM Training | Coaching | Injury & Rehabilitation

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    With two full weeks of practice under our belts, we (DeMatha) are off to a great start. Our players are starting to jell into a cohesive unit. We are still miles away from where we need to be, but we are moving in the right direction. We have several scrimmages lined up, to help us fine tune things, prior to our season opener on December 1st. Our players are looking forward to competing against someone other than themselves!

    Despite the great start, we are physically banged up right now. Our guys compete so hard in practice… there is no shortage of bumps, bruises, and sore muscles. Regardless of how thorough our pre-season strength & conditioning program was… the intensity, volume, and contact has been turned up ten-fold since practice began. It’s normal for players to be a bit banged up in the first few weeks. Their bodies (and minds) are getting acclimated to the rigors of full contact practices. It doesn’t mean our pre-season training was deficient (believe me, it wasn’t). This is just another step up the “intensity ladder.” Our guys were sore the first couple of weeks of our pre-season training… but they adjusted. The same will happen now that practice has begun.
    As Clarke W. Griswold said in Christmas Vacation, “it’s all a part of the experience!”


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  4. Make Time

    by Alan Stein 12-01-2010 11:52 PM Training | Athlete Career Development

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    As a basketball player or coach, you may start to feel overwhelmed now that the season has begun. It can be tough to balance school, practice, games, and quality time with your family and friends. It may seem difficult to fit everything in and live a balanced life.

    Know this - you will never find time for anything during the hectic season. You have to make time for the things that are important to you. If you truly love something, you will make the time for it. Time is never the problem… after all… each of us gets 24 hours in a day. Lack of passion and focus is the real problem!


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  5. World Champs and Questions

    by Steven Yellin 12-01-2010 01:36 AM Training | Coaching

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    Every year after the playoffs and World Series, two things happen: 

    • A team is crowned world champion.
    • One or more stars are asked why they had such a lousy post-season. 

    This year was no different. 

    It was refreshing to see a team not usually in the mix win it all. Hats off to the Giants. They played great and deserved the crown. 


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  6. Youth Training

    by Alan Stein 11-27-2010 04:47 PM Training | Athlete Career Development | Coaching

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    Will lifting weights stunt your growth? At what age should you start lifting weights?

    Let me put an end to this lingering myth once and for all…
    Proper strength training does not stunt growth! In fact, you can actually begin a safe, age appropriate training program as young as 8 or 9 years old.
    For all of the 13 and 14 year olds who email me or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook asking when they should start strength training… my answer is… today!


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  7. What The Greats Do

    by Alan Stein 11-01-2010 12:35 AM Training | Athlete Career Development | Coaching

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    As I have mentioned numerous times, the game of basketball has afforded me the opportunity to meet some amazing people, travel to some amazing places, and have some amazing experiences. All of which I am thankful for.

    One of those remarkable people is shooting coach Dave Hopla. Coach Hopla has worked in the NBA for several years (Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards). My right hand man Blair O’Donovan has worked with him the past 5 years in China at the Nike All-Asia Camp and they have become great friends.


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  8. What Separates You?

    by Alan Stein 10-17-2010 07:04 PM Training | Coaching

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    With the start of the high school season approaching fast, it is time for you to ask yourself a significant question…

    What separates you?

    What is it about your game that separates you from every other player?
    Are you as massive as Dwight Howard?
    Are you as explosive as LeBron James?
    Are you as skilled as Kevin Durant?


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  9. The “Hidden Secret”

    by Gregg Swanson 10-17-2010 06:44 PM Training | Athlete Career Development | Sports Psychology

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    “I always stress condition with my basketball players. I don’t mean physical condition only. You cannot attain and maintain physical condition unless you are morally and mentally conditioned.” —John Wooden, college basketball coach

    It’s been awhile since the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and they were simply amazing to watch, weren’t they? I had so much awe and respect for these elite athletes as I watched them sled, ski, jump and skate, with speed, precision and grace.

    It’s not just the Olympics; I have this same feeling when I see an amazing catch in football, or a precise move in dancing, or even an “invisible” technique in the martial art of Bujinkan.

    In observing these elite-level athletes, their physical and technical prowess is glaringly evident, and their endurance and technical precision is obvious to anyone who watches their performances.


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  10. How To Keep That Burning Desire Alive

    by Gregg Swanson 10-04-2010 11:26 PM Training | Sports Psychology

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    Autumn is underway and winter is on the horizon. And with this change of season brings cooler and colder temperatures, inclement weather, and darkness. If you’re like most people, you probably work out in the early morning or late afternoon. This is tough enough now, and then when you throw old, dark, and damp weather on top of it, these conditions can challenge even the most highly motivated athlete.

    Motivation—you understand what that implies, correct? Athletes frequently use phrases such as “drive,” “desire,” or even “going after something with intensity” to explain or even define motivation, as well as motivated behavior. Basically, we frequently believe that motivation happens completely from within the person (intrinsic). It is essential to understand that motivation is really a function of both the person (an individual) and the circumstance(s) (extrinsic). Which means that to improve your motivation, you'll want to address both the "you" part of the process (i.e., what motivates you?; why do you exercise/compete/train?; and what else could you perform differently?) and examine the situational elements as well (i.e. your coach, training partner or even the facility where you train). 


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